This article has been submitted by Harshit Anand for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
Date: 12/05/2013. Time: 2 pm.
An hour before the Common Law Admission Test.
I finally managed to find a place quite secluded. It was a hot Sunday, and the ceaseless bustle at the CNLU campus added to the sultriness. Boys and girls, who looked overwrought, stood in flocks and discussed frantically. It seemed impossible to find a quiet, forsaken place where I could sit and think of that beautiful girl in the pink dress but I had made the impossible, possible. The bench that I chose to sit on was already occupied by two. They looked sad and tired, more like people betrayed in love than potential lawyers. I sat, sipped some water, and tried to take my mind back to the fair girl I had just seen at the bus stop- swirly hair, conspicuous eyes, an angelic air around her…..and then came the dreadful solicitude that had been bugging me for the last six months- the fear of failure.
‘This is your last chance Harshit.’ ‘Your last shot at redemption.’ ‘You have already messed up JEE big time. These two hours, and your fate is sealed.’ ‘But what if you fail?’ ‘What then?’ ‘You will be ruined’… ‘You are over’…
And all of a sudden, there began that old familiar battle between the head and the heart.
“What am I doing here?” “Wasn’t I supposed to be an engineer?” “What about the two years that I spent mugging up my Physics and Chemistry?” “But then, I still do not know the formula of Benzoic acid and at least they are not going to ask me what does a Gaussian surface look like.” “What about those tiring summer afternoons when I cycled all the way to the coaching classes to study the basics of Calculus?” “But I still do not know how to integrate partial fractions”……..
“OK. CALM DOWN.”, I spoke to myself. “Everything will be okay. You are not a dolt. You have studied. You are capa….” My monologue was cut short by an old mate who, I don’t know how, had managed to find me in that deserted corner of the campus. “Hey, it’s time. Let’s go”, he winked. We shook hands, showed some camaraderie and marched towards the entrance to the main corridor. It was time to annex the fortress that was CNLU.
Time: 2:45 pm.
We sat in perfect silence. The invigilator was shouting the instructions. He sounded pretty mechanized, as if he had been programmed to say only those set of lines. Most of the candidates were not listening to him, I being one of them. Scenes from the past kept flashing before my eyes. I tried to concentrate on what was being said but the slideshow just would not stop.
It all began in the May of 2011. Life of a teenager in India is never easy. I was born in a family of engineers and there was no way I could think of becoming anything else. Everything was moving in the right direction. I had secured decent marks in my class 10th board examinations and had taken admission in a school of good repute. Cherry on the cake, I was even going to a coaching institute that guaranteed selection to the premier engineering colleges. Everything was smooth. I don’t exactly know the reason behind my doom but somewhere, something went horribly wrong. Two years hence, in the May of 2013, I was nowhere. No engineering college deserves a student who does not know a thing about Organic Chemistry. It was true that I was not born to study Chemistry but equally true was the fact that I had never put in any effort. Maybe the chastened insurgence inside me did not allow me to give my best but it can only be an excuse, not a reason.
Time: 4 pm.
An hour into the Common Law Admission Test. A strange sort of anxiety had me in control; it felt as if my heart did not want to accept that everything was going quite good ( Yes, those two years of Physics and Chemistry had made me accustomed to disappointment and humiliation). I was done with the lengthy legal section and was hastening through the logical portion. My fingers were still nervous and my palms, still greasy. Most of the time I would darken the circles, then erase, and then darken again. Sometimes the circles looked lightly darkened, and sometimes I would almost stab the OMR sheet with my pencil. The anxiety was certainly taking its toll.
Time: 5 pm.
“Stop writing, pens down.” the invigilator’s harsh discordant sound echoed in the lecture hall again. We obeyed reluctantly. I skimmed through my OMR sheet to check if I had made any stray marks on it. “CLAT also tests how you respond to a crisis. “The guy sitting next to me patted me on my back after our papers had been collected. He looked quite older to me and I smiled at him. As I collected my bag and walked out of the examination hall, there was a very peculiar feeling; a feeling of saturation, relief and liberation. A ‘finally-it-is-over’ sort of feeling. I was indeed saturated and could take no more, that every demanding thing was coming to an end was indeed some relief and consolation. That was one moment when I was not thinking whether I would get through; there was a sense of contentment and satisfaction. It was raining heavily outside. Some of the students jumped and hopped in the portico. I looked at the clouds above. They shared my feelings; they too were saturated. It was a complete poetical end to my story.
“GK was damn easssyyyy…” a girl almost ran into me as she scurried to hug her friend. Everybody looked happy. I was happy too. That happiness was very singular. A happiness that has no materialistic associations. A happiness that knows no reason. A happiness that had been evading me for long but that chose to come to me at a place I had never thought I would be at. Never predict your future. It is the biggest mistake you can do.
On my way home, I noticed the beautiful evening sky. It had shed all its tears and had nothing to say. The clear lyrical welkin, one of those you find in the poems of the Bard. The trees and the plants looked greener. The birds chirped and expressed the relief they had acquired from the scorching heat. It was one of those instants when you don’t regret anything, when you realize that everything happens for a purpose. Those two years of Science had taught me how to wrestle, how to rise every time you fall. Those two years had taught me what it takes to fail. I had finished my 10th standard as a proud, arrogant brat; I was completing my 12th standard as a humble, practical boy.
I noticed a little kid holding the hands of his mother and crossing the street. Oh yes, it was mother’s day! And then I was reminded of all those times when my mother had stood beside me, of the countless instances when she had gone out of her way to support me. She was the one who had shown faith in me when everybody believed I won’t do well in my class 10th boards. She was the one who had felt my pain every time I told her I could not be an engineer. She was the reason why I could survive through all those sleepless nights. The Common Law Admission test could not have been organized on a better day. I was crossing this street of life because of my mother.
The important things in life are always with you- air, water, your thoughts and your mom. You have to earn only the unimportant ones. Who needs a National Law University when you have a mother waiting at home! “Please stop somewhere Papa. I have to get something for Mummy.” I said, and groped my pockets to see if I had any money.